MEP design is one of the most important aspects of a project as it is this part where the documentation, planning, performance and cost estimation and decision making are done. All commercial project that you come across has its own MEP design which helps the construction work to go as planned and successfully executed.

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems have a lot of functions they serve for the building service and engineers tasked with the construction of the project. Engineers awarded the project carry out numerous research in order to pinpoint the design that will best suit the construction work at hand. This research is carried out considering the project specifications, supply installers and engineering principles.

Through this article, you will be made to understand the different characteristics of a successful MEP design for commercial projects.

How commercial projects differ from residential projects

There is a great difference between residential projects and commercial projects in terms of the approach to construction and the utility of these projects after completion. One of the most important aspects of a building design is the construction materials. On an average scale, most of the materials used in residential projects are timber, and construction is consequently called a Timer frame construction. Timber is the most preferred material in residential projects because they are thought to be cost-effective. Since residential projects are smaller in size, timber is structurally the most suitable option.

In commercial projects, however, steel-frame construction is the most popularly employed. This is because commercial construction demand complex designs which timber frame construction cannot hold. Since commercial construction projects can be used for heavy, industrial purposes, it requires the use of a tougher, resilient material that can withstand stress while also lasting longer.

Another important difference between commercial and residential projects is the regulations. Though both project types require codes and permits from the government of the region of construction, regulations for commercial projects are stricter to obtain. This is due to the complex designs, materials, size and some other features of commercial project construction which makes it riskier in case of any accident or default. This is why the services of a construction management professional are procured to ensure construction strictly follow government regulations.

Another obvious difference between commercial and residential projects is the Gulf between commercial and residential projects in terms of costs. The cost of a commercial project is way more expensive when compared to residential projects, even in cases where the size of buildings are comparable. The difference in costs is not only obvious in material costs and standard compliance, but also from labor and equipment costs. Services for labor are normally acquired through a bidding process and the project is finally awarded to the lowest bidder who is capable of executing the project properly and within the stipulated time.

Another difference that is easily noted is the difference in the equipment or types of machinery used in construction. Commercial projects usually require cranes, bulldozers and earth moving types of machinery. These types of machinery are operated by professionals who ensure quality execution and safety.

MEP Challenges of Commercial Project

Before the construction of commercial projects, common problems arise which may hinder the smooth running of construction. These problems usually arise in the permit acquisition stage from the local authorities. It is compulsory to obtain the necessary permits before the commencing construction of a commercial project. Once the design is approved, and the necessary permits obtained, that is the only time when project developers can commence work. Failure to obtain these necessary permits can lead to a series of problems with local authorities. Approval of the design process is usually long which can cause a delay. Employing the services of qualified professionals who design projects using required codes eliminates this delay to the barest minimum.

High energy expense is another regular challenge encountered by engineers in commercial projects, especially electricity and gas bills. High energy costs usually result from executing constructions with minimum requirements and low performance. This is why professional MEP designers have to develop designs that meet performance requirements with minimum energy consumption. This can be achieved by cutting down the energy demand of building systems which can be done by reducing use of lighting fixtures, heating and cooling loads, modifying the building systems to function to requirements while consuming the lowest energy possible and finally the use of private power generation like wind turbines and solar power.

7 Things to Consider for a Successful MEP design

  • MEP Coordination

MEP coordination has to do with everything concerning the proper alignment of different designs in a construction project, without any issues which may arise due to interference. It also concerns spotting and settling any form of incompatibility between any of the building services including Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Architecture, and Structure before any form of building commence.

To keep these different designs in a construction synchronized, it is important for each service to be aware of the positions of the numerous installations in the construction at the modeling stage. This is only possible with the accurate and up to date MEP master plan.

  • Building Owner and Architect Agreement

Structural engineers and designers have to consider the likelihood of an agreement already in place between the proprietor of the construction and the MEP designer concerning some features of the building.

Modifications can only be made to the design if there is an agreement with the proprietor of the building, and it has to follow the parameters agreed by both parties.

  • Extra Space

MEP designs require additional space so as to prevent design flaws which may result from wrong measurements. The additional space allows for these flaws to be easily fixed when necessary spatial planning is done.

  • Effective design

Many MEP design companies evaluate and provide top design solutions which utilize the updated and effective technologies to guarantee the building use is maximized.

  • Environment friendly

The environment is one of the major factors considered during MEP design. MEP consultants recommend and provide services that ensure energy and water conservation.

  • Cost-Efficient

one of the most important aspects of any project construction is cost-efficiency. MEP Engineering companies ensure that projects are executed to standard requirements within the bounds of the budget.

  • Building mechanism

For construction projects with automation systems that demand HVAC services, the processes involved will be handled by a MEP engineering company.